Marriott is giving employees an interesting incentive to get vaccinated.
Marriott will pay employees to get vaccinated
It has been announced that Marriott has created the Vaccination Care Program, which will provide financial rewards to associates at managed properties in the United States and Canada. With this, Marriott employees will receive the equivalent of four hours of pay upon getting vaccinated.
Marriott states that it supports global vaccination efforts. The company is also providing education on the benefits of the vaccination and directing hotel management to allow for schedule flexibility for vaccination appointments. Marriott is strongly encouraging associates to get vaccinated, but isn’t making it mandatory for now.
As David Rodriguez, Marriott’s Global Chief Human Resources Officer, describes this move:
“The health and safety of our people is our top priority. Our goal for the Vaccination Care Program is to remove potential obstacles to getting vaccinated so our associates can put their health first and have peace of mind. Marriott International is confident that vaccination is a key measure, along with mask wearing, social distancing and stepped-up cleanliness protocols and hygiene practices in minimizing the spread of COVID-19.
As vaccines become more widely available, this will create a safer environment for all associates, and we believe that consumer confidence to travel again will increase significantly and help the rebound of the travel and tourism sector. We appreciate the support from our managed hotel owners, and encourage the industry and our franchisees to offer flexibility and incentives to their associates as a vital step in our industry’s recovery.”
This is well thought out on Marriott’s part
It’s not very often that Marriott is innovative, but I have to give the hotel group credit here, as I think this concept is really well thought out. We’ve seen a lot of travel brands talk about the importance of vaccination, but we haven’t seen them create incentives to get vaccinated.
For example, United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby has stated that he would like vaccination to be mandatory for all employees. He explained that in order for that to happen other companies would have to take a similar stance, or else United wouldn’t be able to “get away” with it.
I think Marriott is taking exactly the right approach here — the company is giving employees an incentive to get vaccinated, and is encouraging properties to be flexible with employee hours so that this can easily be facilitated.
While we may eventually see companies make vaccination mandatory, this is the right solution for now, in my opinion.
Ultimately employees in the travel industry getting vaccinated is important — it’s not just about keeping them safe, but also about keeping guests safe, given that most early studies suggest that vaccinated people are less likely to spread coronavirus as well.
Looking at other parts of the travel industry, Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways recently became the first major airline to vaccinate all pilots and cabin crew. The company didn’t make it mandatory, but rather stated that those who choose not to get vaccinated won’t be entitled to sick leave or health insurance benefits through the company, should they get coronavirus.
Marriott is incentivizing hotel employees in the US and Canada to get vaccinated, with the company offering four hours of pay as a reward. While that pay won’t be life changing, it’s a nice gesture, and it’s more than we’ve seen from other travel brands at this point.
Some point down the road we can talk about whether or not vaccination should be mandatory for employees, but at this point that conversation doesn’t seem constructive, given that vaccines aren’t even available to everyone at this point, we don’t know what the situation will look like months down the road, and because that discussion inevitably becomes way too political.
What do you make of Marriott’s vaccination incentive?